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Thunder Dragons Guide

Overview

Thunder Dragons is an archetype based on the original card Thunder Dragon, a quite old card both on TCG/OCG and in Duel Links, also thunder dragons are a really powerful deck in the TCG/OCG atm. Besides the OG Thunder Dragon, we receive most of the remaining cards of the archetype in September of 2019 with the release of Dark Side of Dimensions World. Most of the cards are f2p with the exception of Thunder Dragonhawk which is from Dark Dimension Box. Check How to Unlock/Farm Mokuba Kaiba (DSOD)

As duel drop rewards from Mokuba Kaiba (DSOD):

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonmatrix
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragon%20Discharge

As level-up rewards from Mokuba Kaiba (DSOD):

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragons'%20Hundred%20Thunders

About the Author

Hi, my name is GadgetBug and I’m the Author of this guide. I’ve been playing Duel Links since the worldwide release in January of 2017. But in these last few months I've been wanting to get into the competitive scenario, so you might see me in tournaments. I really like Thunder Dragons, not from the TCG but Thunder Dragon was one of my favorite cards since I was a kid, the art style and also the mechanic of discarding to add (I think it was one of the 1st cards with this kind of effect, not sure, don’t quote me on that). When I found what about Konami created an archetype based on this card, I got really happy but never thought we would get them this soon.

Introduction

In the TGC/OCG Thunder Dragons is a control oriented deck that have monsters that can be discarded (they are based on the OG Thunder Dragon) to use effects that can give you card advantage, they also have a 2nd effect if they are sent from the field to the GY or if they are banished. They can easily summon boss monsters that have really powerful effects that helps to control the duel, but until this moment we don’t have access to them in Duel Links. While we don’t have those monsters, the deck has a different way to play, since the deck has a powerful engine to maintain a board you can stay in the duel until you draw your tech cards to help you win the duel and since the deck has a lot of thinning power it’s not a big problem, although the deck isn’t tier worthy atm, it’s a really fun deck and it will definitely get better with future support. That are different variants of the deck, since it doesn’t really need the normal summon you can have synchro and tribute summon plays without losing to many resources. I had finished the guide an hour before the last banlist was announced, so instead of publishing I decided to hold on to see how the Meta would change and because there were a lot of mentions of decks using clash like Six Samurais.


Skills

  • Beatdown It’s an ok option as a finisher but I think there are better options.
  • Baggy Sleeves Great option, since you will likely have a level 5 or higher every turn on the field and there isn’t much your opponent can’t do to avoid not destroying your monsters by battle, besides not attacking but if he decides so, you will have a monster on the field to go for an offensive play.
  • Other skills can work, like Destiny Draw or any Draw Sense one to draw a specific tuner, for example Zombie Draw can draw a Plaguespreader Zombie if is the only zombie you are playing and can be easily triggered with a Cosmic Cyclone. Also you can use counter skills like Sealed Tombs, No Mortal Can Resist to help counter a specific deck(s).

Core Cards

Before talking about how the deck plays, I’m going to talk about how the cards works and explain about the ratios

The following monsters have 2 effects:

  • You can discard the monster to activate the effect
  • If the monster leaves the field or if it’s banished (and yes, “if” not “when” none of them can miss the timing) And you can only use one of the effects once per turn.

The monsters are:

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonmatrix
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk

Thunder Dragonroar (2-3x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar

○ Discard effect (ignition): add a thunder dragon card from grave or banished to your hand


○ If banished or sent from field: specials summons thunder dragon from deck in defense (the monster returns to your hand in the end phase)


You can banish this card from your deck with Gold Sarcophagus or Aloof Lupine (or from hand in this case) to special summon a Thunder Dragon monster from your deck, giving you a monster on the field to be used as tribute or as synchro material. Its discard effect is really good to recycle cards, you can add a Thunder Dragon spell/trap that was banished by a cosmic cyclone for example. It’s a really good card for the deck, it’s floating and recycling abilities are what makes the deck sustain a board.

Thunder Dragondark (3x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark

○ Discard effect (quick effect): add another copy of itself from the deck.


○ If banished or sent from field: adds thunder dragon card from your deck to your hand.


The searcher of the deck, you can try to play at 2 since you have an easy access to it with Thunder Dragonroar, Gold Sarcophagus, etc, but, it's also good card to thin the deck and to fill the grave so it can be used to summon Chaos Sorcerer or other monsters that need light and dark attributes in the graveyard and It’s also a good card to special with Roar to protect from an attack and to use as fuel for Thunder Dragon Discharge. You should play 3 copies.

Thunder Dragonhawk (2-3x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk

○ Discarded (ignition): you can special summon any thunder dragon that is banished or in your graveyard.


○ If banished or sent from field: you can shuffle any number of cards from your hand into the deck to draw the same amount of cards.


Well, it’s a main box UR, you need at least 2 but you want to play 3. Special summoning a Thunder Dragon will give you easy access to synchro plays, tribute summon + extra effect depending on which monster you special summoned and extra bodies on the field for a bigger beatdown boost. Also his 2nd effect is really good to fish for a tech card to help in some situations. Something to keep in mind, Roar’s effect can recycle Hawk, but each time you use on hawk it's one less Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders. You are recycling and having hawk at 3 will affect less in that matter. Besides all that playing at 3 can helps with hands with Thunder Dragondark and no starters.

Thunder Dragonmatrix (0-2x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonmatrix

○ Discard effect (quick effect): gives 500 atk boost to a Thunder monster you control (permanently, as long the monster is face-up on the field) If banished or sent from field -> adds a copy of itself from deck


The 500 atk boost isn’t that great, even though you can use on opponents turn, your Thunder Dragons don’t really stay on field for long. It can be decent as fuel for Thunder Dragon Discharge, but other than that it doesn’t add much for the deck. This card has a lot of future potential when/if we get the fusion monsters.

Thunder Dragon (0 or 3x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragon

○ You can discard it to add up to two copies of itself from your deck to your hand.


It’s doesn’t have much value in the synchro variant, but it works well in decks that are more focused on Chaos Sorcerer or other monsters that can be special summoned by banishing light and dark monsters from the graveyard. It also works well with Thunder Dragonhawk’s effect to shuffle cards back into the deck.


Spell and Traps

Thunder Dragon Discharge (0-2x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragon%20Discharge

○ Prevent the negation of the activation of your thunder monster's effects.


○ If a Thunder Dragon monster(s) is normal or special summoned to your field, target a spell/trap card on the field; banish 1 thunder monster from your deck, and if you do destroy that target (not once per turn).


It’s the archetype card that deals with backrow. It’s searchable from Thunder Dragondark’s effect. The downside is that it’s a continuous trap, so it’s a bit slow and if it’s removed from the field it doesn’t resolve. Also you need to banish a Thunder Dragon in your deck (it will trigger that monster’s effect), but it will consume a lot of resources over time. It can be added to your hand with Thunder Dragonroar’s effect from the graveyard or if it’s banished. This card can help to deal with problematic cards, like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, Necrovalley and maybe force early activations like The Sanctified Darklord, World Legacy Clash, etc.

Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders (1x)

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragons'%20Hundred%20Thunders

A one of, since we only have access to one from level 35 reward from Mokuba Kaiba (DSOD) atm, it would probably be played at 2 or 3 if we could, anyway, let’s stick with what we have. It’s searchable from Thunder Dragondark’s effect and can be recycled with Thunder Dragonroar’s effect, it’s a really good card and it can be used defensively or offensively by summoning extra bodies on the field. The restriction of not being able to special summon non-Thunder type monsters will only prevent you from special summoning if that monster is still face-up on the field. There is an interaction with cards like World Legacy Clash for example that you should keep in mind. The monster(s) that you special summoned with this card’s effect will be banished when it leaves the field, so if you use World Legacy Clash, the monster won’t come back in your End Phase, due to be considered that it left the field by Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders effect.


Non-archetype cards

Gold Sarcophagus (3x)

Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus

Can banish 1 card from your deck face-up, to add it to your hand in your 2nd standby phase after it was activated.

Amazing card, it’s one of the best starters a deck can have, 1 card that doesn’t cost you a normal summon and can give you card advantage, since that card you banished will be added to your hand later on. The most common target is Thunder Dragonroar, which will allow to special summon a Thunder Dragon from your deck in defense position (the monster will go back to your hand in your end phase), this play gives you a body on the field to go for a synchro summon by normal summoning a tuner or as tribute for a tribute summon. It’s from an Ex Structure deck so not many people have access to it, there are other options for f2p, but not nearly as good as this card.

Aloof Lupine (0-3x)

Duel Links Card: Aloof%20Lupine

○ When normal summoned, can banish 1 monster from your hand and one from deck with the same type.


○ When destroyed by opponent's card (battle or effect) can add one of your banished monsters.


A lot of you probably know this card from Metaphys decks, it's used in the same way, banishing Thunder Dragons to get their effects, the main difference being that Metaphys monsters don’t get their effects right way and they don’t need their normal summon, since Thunder Dragons get their effects right way Aloof Lupine will be a slower starter for Thunder Dragons, but a good substitution in case you don’t have Gold Sarcophagus. If you play it in this way you should max out on Thunder Dragons since you need one in your hand to use Aloof’s effect. Even if you have Gold Sarcophagus, this card can be a complement to add consistency (in case you aren’t playing a build focusing on Crystrons) but you don’t want to play many of this guy, probably 1 to 2 copies.


Non-Core/Tech Cards

World Legacy Clash (1-2x)

Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash

One of the best cards in the Meta atm, also synergize with the thunder dragons, since they can activate their effects if they are banished. Its core in the pure build but not as important in the synchro variant, it’s the best card to help with our strategy of floating and surviving, while having synergy with the deck and the damage reduction to help finish the duels. The down sides of this card is that it targets, so Isn’t good against invoked and it can be useless if you brick, while other cards can help with protection.

Enemy Controller

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller

Win games. It also synergizes with the deck, since it will trigger the Thunder Dragon’s effect if you tribute them for an “econ take play”. The biggest problem is that it conflicts with World Legacy Clash and it’s another card that targets.

Chaos Sorcerer (0-2x)

Duel Links Card: Chaos%20Sorcerer

Powerful effect and can be easily summoned since all the thunder dragons have light or dark attributes, Thunder Dragon can be good to help fill the grave if you build your deck more around Chaos Sorcerer, it is a UR from the same box as Thunder Dragonhawk, so keep in mind when you are going for hawk you might want to get this card before resetting. It’s not really good in this Meta because of The Sanctified Darklord which can negate its effects and with the popularity of World Legacy Clash which can be chained to its effect to dodge, but still can be good in the future.

Depending on the Meta some backrow will be better than others here some options:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Duel Links Card: Concentrating%20Current

The Tuners

The differences between the synchro variant from the “pure” one is that, the pure will have a harder time dealing with some monsters but will have more consistency in maintaining the board, while the synchro variant will have more options with the synchro tool box, being able to do more explosive plays, but won’t have as much recycling. Any tuner would work, but I’m going to list the ones that have better effects or will give you extra resources/extra plays. In the synchro variant you will want to play 2-4 tuners.

Deep Sea Diva (2-3x)

Duel Links Card: Deep%20Sea%20Diva

It gives you access to an easy Crystron Quariongandrax (2x Divas (2x LV2) + Dragondark (Lv5)), which has a really powerful effect. Also you can use for 2 synchro summons with one normal summon.

Plaguespreader Zombie (1-3x)

Duel Links Card: Plaguespreader%20Zombie

Also it can give 2 synchro summons of 1 normal summon, and the cost of putting a card on top of your deck isn’t really hard for the deck.


Crystron Package

You can play with the crystrons that searches the tuner or just play the tuners, if you choose to play the searchers you will have the ability to search different tuners but if you use the search you won’t be able to synchro summon a non-machine synchro monster on that turn.

Crystron Citree (1-3x)

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Citree

The effect of synchro summoning on opponents turn is really good in a lot of matchups, you can synchro summon into Samurai Destroyer using Thunder Dragondark in the GY and dark will get its effects when it leaves the field to add a Thunder Dragon card from your deck. This effect can combo well with Thunder Dragon Discharge.

Crystron Quan (1-3x)

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Quan

Quan has an advantage over Citree, if you open with citree and don’t have a monster in your graveyard or a way to send one, you won’t be able to use its effect, while Quan will allow you to synchro with a monster in your hand, saving you from really bad bricks, the downside it’s that Quan is a level 1, which will limit to only level 6 and 7 synchro monster, so no Scrap Dragon for example.

Crystron Rion (1x)

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rion

Rion can be good to use with your banished monsters which can be good in the late game when you don’t have more Thunder Dragons in your deck since Rion shuffles the materials into the deck, the downside is that in the early game you will be shuffling cards into your deck instead of thinning it, and compared to the others you won’t get the effect of the Thunder Dragon used as material for the synchro summon.

The searchers of those tuners are:

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Smiger
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rosenix
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Thystvern

The difference between them in this deck it’s there level and Rosenix can be banished from the grave to special summon a token which can be used as material or as a target for Scrap Dragon’s effect. Smiger can add Crystron Impact by banishing from your graveyard, which can protect your tuners from targeting. And Thystvern can be used to add another tuner for a follow-up play next turn. If you decide to use any of those you should consider to add to your extra deck a Crystron Ametrix.

D.D. Sprite

Duel Links Card: D.D.%20Sprite

A really good f2p alternative. Banishing a Thunder Dragon on the field as cost to summon Sprite from your hand, this will trigger that Thunder Dragon’s effect, and since it doesn’t need to use your normal summon works well alongside Aloof Lupine. You can also banish Aloof to synchro summon with the Thunder Dragon to gain its effect. You can go for level 5, 6 or 7 synchro monsters.


The Synchro Tool Box

Depending on which tuners you play it will give access to different synchro monsters, level 2s are the best ones to have access to lv7 and lv8 synchro monsters, but you can play lv1 or lv3 to have access to lv6 and lv9-10. I’ll list the better synchro monsters that are good to deal with backrow and monster effects but the rest is up to you to fill with what you have or with what you think will complement what your deck is missing against the decks you are facing the most.

Crystron Quariongandrax

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Quariongandrax

Great card to deal with monsters like Elemental HERO Brave Neos without destruction and to banish monsters on the field or graveyard like Fortune Lady Every, Bacon Saver, Darklords, etc. It needs 2 tuners so it’s most to be played with Deep Sea Diva.

Samurai Destroyer

Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer

What a great card. An easy card to get while you are open packs trying to get Thunder Dragonhawk. It helps to deal with pesky monster’s effects and to force early activations. His float effect when it leaves the field by opponent’s card effects, can float into itself or a crystron tuner. Since it’s a machine it can be summoned by the crystron tuners on opponents turn.

Black Rose Dragon

Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon

Can wipe the field. Really easy to summon and you can follow-up without leaving yourself exposed.

Scrap Dragon

Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Dragon

Really good to deal with backrow and can destroy one of the Thunder Dragons to activate its effect and trigger that Thunder Dragon’s effect.

Vermillion Dragon Mech

Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech

Great effect to destroy a card on the field, not as easy to summon if lv2 tuners, it will require a level 7 synchro monster or for you to play a level 3 tuner instead.

HTS Psyhemuth

Duel Links Card: HTS%20Psyhemuth

A really good level 6 synchro monster that will help to deal with monsters without targeting or destruction.

Powered Inzektron

Duel Links Card: Powered%20Inzektron

Really good card to play along with Crystron Quan. You can summon with Quan and dark (from your hand) on your opponent's turn to protect you and giving you a search through dark’s effect. Can help a lot with a turn 1 brick.


Non-Generic

That are good non-generic synchros but you’ll need to use specific tuners so I’ll list some of them.

  • Chaos King Archfiend can deal with Invoked Cocytus or at least forcing a Aleister the Invoker activation but it requires a fiend tuner, Tuning Gum is a decent tuner that can change a battle position of a monster your opponent monster (it targets), there are other options for fiend tuners, but not good ones, Fabled Raven is also a decent option.
Duel Links Card: Chaos%20King%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Tuning%20Gum
  • Scrap Beast is a level 4 tuner that gives access to Scrap Twin Dragon which is really good to bounce cards while also being a 3000 attack monster, beast can also help going into lv9-10 synchros, Cloudcastle is a decent follow-up for Scrap Twin, when you synchro summon Cloudcastle you can special summon Scrap Twin from grave and you can use Scrap Twin to destroy Cloudcastle to bounce 2 cards your opponent controls. Deskbot Jet can be an option in case you can’t summon a level 9, he can destroy itself to destroy another monster your opponent controls. Having access to bigger beater can be an option in this Meta without Beatdown.
Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Beast
Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Twin%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
Duel Links Card: Cloudcastle
Duel Links Card: Giganticastle
Duel Links Card: Deskbot%20Jet
  • Junk Anchor, can be used to summon all the synchros that requires Synchron tuners.
Duel Links Card: Junk%20Anchor
Duel Links Card: Junk%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Junk%20Berserker
Duel Links Card: Chevalier%20de%20Fleur
Duel Links Card: Nitro%20Warrior

Sample Decks

Asta 1st Place Anytime Season #18

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Plaguespreader%20Zombie
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Aloof%20Lupine
Duel Links Card: Aloof%20Lupine
Duel Links Card: Aloof%20Lupine
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragons'%20Hundred%20Thunders
Duel Links Card: Red%20Dragon%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Liberty%20at%20Last!
Duel Links Card: Liberty%20at%20Last!
Duel Links Card: Mispolymerization
Duel Links Card: Mispolymerization

F2P Friendly

Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Ametrix

Crystron Build

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Smiger
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Smiger
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Citree
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Citree
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rion
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Impact
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragon%20Discharge
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragons'%20Hundred%20Thunders
Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Powered%20Inzektron
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Ametrix

Base Synchro Build

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonhawk
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragondark
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragonroar
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragons'%20Hundred%20Thunders

Base build for a Synchro build using the specific tuners, just add the 3 copies of the desired tuner and 2 techs and you can also swap the clashes for 2 other techs.


Combo Section and Playstyle

The deck has a lot of combos, I’ll list the main ones and then I’ll talk about the playstyle. Since the Thunder Dragons have 2 effects and you can only use one of the effects once per turn, every play you make you must 1st consider what will be your follow-up play, either this turn or in your next turn, even if it’s your opponent's turn. Not an easy deck to play initially but as you play you will start to understand how you should play. I’ll split the combos in 2 parts, starter combo and pushing combo. Starter combos will be how to get a different field and graveyard/banished setup while pushing combos will be based on these fields + cards in grave and or banished cards and what can you do from there.

There are 3 main starter combos/field setups.

  1. Getting a Thunder Dragondark on the field without discarding it this turn (important so you can use his 2nd effect), a good play that will result in a search from its effect.
  • Activate Gold Sarcophagus, banish Thunder Dragonroar from your deck, activate roar’s effect to special summon Thunder Dragondark from your deck (be careful if you have a Thunder Dragondark in your hand it will ask if you want to chain it to roar’s effect, instead of selecting dark from deck)
  • Activate Thunder Dragonhawk’s effect to special summon a Thunder Dragondark from your graveyard or that is banished. (If you went 2nd with dark in your hand you can discard dark on your opponent's end phase, so it won’t conflict of using its second effect on your turn)
  • Normal Summon Aloof Lupine, activate its effect, by banishing Thunder Dragonroar from your hand or deck and banishing another thunder dragon in your hand or deck (be careful of which monster you banish, it will ask if you want to use its effects, so keep in mind if you want to use one of the effects later on that turn otherwise you won’t be able to, in case you activated)
  • Tribute or use as synchro material a Thunder Dragonroar.
  1. Getting a Thunder Dragonroar on the field. Roar has 2400 attack points which is a good amount and paired with beatdown can deal with most of the monsters in the Meta, but the most important part is that if roar goes to the graveyard or if it’s banished by battle, card effect, etc. It allows you to summon a Thunder Dragon from the deck which helps to defend while maintaining your resources. It’s important to have a roar on the field to help you maintain your resources/board.
  • Activate Thunder Dragonhawk to special summon roar from your graveyard or if it’s banished (preferably special a banished one over one in the GY, besides if the banished one was banished by Gold Sarcophagus)
  • By tribute summoning, it’s better if you tribute a Thunder Dragondark so you can add a Thunder Dragon card from you deck to your hand.
  1. Setting a Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders, it allows you to have a defensive option in case your opponent is pushing for game. “Reviving” roar is normally the best option, so you can special another thunder dragon from your deck, summoning hawk in case they don’t have another attack (since hawk will go to your hand in the end phase) or dark in case they have another attack (so you can add a thunder dragon card from your deck to your hand).

Pushing combos:

With Tuners

  • Normal Summon Plaguespreader Zombie + Thunder Dragondark on the field to synchro summon Black Rose Dragon, to wipe the field, then activate dark’s effect, to add a Thunder Dragonhawk from your deck to your hand, use hawk’s effect to special a Thunder Dragon from GY or that is banished. You can also special summon plague back to the field by returning a card from your hand to the top of the deck to go for another synchro summon.

  • Normal Summon Plaguespreader Zombie + Thunder Dragonroar on the field to synchro summon Scrap Dragon, then activate roar’s effect to special summon Thunder Dragondark from your deck, then you will have 2 plays:

  • Use Scrap Dragon’s effect to destroy dark and one of your opponents cards, which will trigger dark’s effect to add a Thunder Dragon card from your deck to your hand (hawk for an extra summon, roar to recycle a thunder card, Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders for a follow-up play next turn/defensive option).

  • Special Summon Plaguespreader Zombie by returning a card from your hand to the top of the deck, use Scrap Dragon’s effect to destroy Plague and one card your opponent controls.

  • Normal summon Deep Sea Diva, activate its effect to summon another from the deck, use a Thunder Dragonroar on the field to synchro into a lv8, activate roar’s effect to summon Thunder Dragondark from the deck and use to synchro into a lv7 with the 2nd Deep Sea Diva, use dark’s effect to add a Thunder Dragon card from your deck to your hand (Thunder Dragonhawk for triple beatdown or Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders for a defensive option/follow-up play next turn).

  • Normal summon Deep Sea Diva, activate its effect to summon another from the deck, use a Thunder Dragondark on the field to go into Crystron Quariongandrax, to banish your opponent's monster, then activate dark’s effect to add a thunder dragon card from your deck to your hand.

  • Use Gold Sarcophagus to banish a Thunder Dragonroar from your deck, activate roar’s effect to special summon a Thunder Dragondark from your deck then normal summon Crystron Smiger or Crystron Rosenix, use its effect to destroy Thunder Dragondark to special summon a Crystron tuner from your deck, activate dark’s effect to add Thunder Dragon Discharge from your deck to your hand and set it, which will allow you to use the crystron tuner on you opponents turn to synchro summon using a Thunder Dragon, which will activate Thunder Dragon Discharge to destroy a spell/trap card on the field.

  • Special Summon D.D. Sprite by banishing a Thunder Dragondark on field, activate dark’s effect to add a Thunder Dragon card from your deck to your hand, than you can synchro summon into a level 5 using Aloof Lupine, in case you special dark by using roar’s effect banished by Aloof’s effect or you can add Thunder Dragonhawk to special a Thunder Dragon to synchro with D.D Sprite for a level 6 or 7.


In some of these combos you can also use hawk instead of roar as synchro material to shuffle your hand to fish for a tech card that might help going for game. Also if you have Thunder Dragon Discharge face-up from a previously turn, when you special summon using Thunder Dragonhawk’s effect, it will be able to use Discharge effect to destroy a S/T card on the field, while banishing a Thunder Dragonroar from your deck, which will trigger his effect to special another Thunder Dragon from your deck, which will leave you with 2 monsters on the field, so if you have Plaguespreader Zombie you will be able to synchro summon 2 times in that turn if you have a card to return to the deck (if you use a Thunder Dragondark as the monster for the synchro summon you can add a thunder dragon card from your deck, so you can put that card on top of your deck as cost to summon Plague from the GY). Later in the game when you have more cards in your graveyard, you can use Chaos Sorcerer to banish a monster on the field then you can use it as tribute fodder or as synchro material, since he can’t attack the turn you used its effect.

I will include some videos of turn 1-2 plays in the near future. So keep an eye on that.


Match-Ups

Darklords

Darklords are a really consistent deck that can maintain their board while being able to negate a face-up monster effect with The Sanctified Darklord which they can use up to use twice per turn (in case they had set it). The good thing about the matchup is that our Thunder Dragons don’t really care about Sanctified, since all their effects activate from the hand, if they leave the field or if they are banished, but what can get affected is Aloof Lupine which is most of the time a surrender in case you don’t have Gold Sarcophagus, other cards are all the crystron tuners (yes, the Crystron Build doesn’t do well against them), which can get negated after we activate their effects to synchro on their turn. Also all the synchros can get negated. The ideal play against Darklords is having Thunder Dragonroar on the field backed up with a backrow and if possible a Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders. In case you are playing the crystron variant, you need to pay attention to use the crystron’s effect to synchro summon before they can have a Sanctified in the Grave and a Darklord on the field that can use its effects to copy a Sanctified in the grave, which will be by:

Good side cards are:

  • Lava Golem, by tributing 2 of their monsters (preferably being the ones that can shuffle the cards back to the deck and secondly their “boss” monsters Darklord Morningstar and Darklord Desire), by doing that you shut down their board recovery and gives you a chance of clearing their field and possibly going for the OTK with the help of Thunder Dragonhawk, Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders or a Plaguespreader Zombie that was already in the grave.
  • Wall of Disruption, can work as protection and help to deal damage.
  • Bad Reaction to Simochi, it’s most of the time an “I win” card in this matchup, dealing back the damage recovery from sanctified as burn damage, the downside is that it won’t work against the other decks. You have to be careful because they play Cosmic Cyclone which can deal with it before you have a chance to activate.

Fortune Ladies

Can be one of the most slows matchups. Fortune Lady Every’s effect can banish one of your monsters in their standby phase and you can’t respond to its effect after it chooses a monster, so you must think 1st if you want to use something like World Legacy Clash to protect one of your monsters while reducing their Every’s attack. The biggest problem is their backrow, they can have battle traps like Wall of Disruption which can give them lethal Damage on their turn or Floodgate Trap Hole which can stop your synchro plays. In this matchup Samurai Destroyer shines, it negates their monster effects when it battles making it so you will always win the battle while also will stop their battle traps from activating. If you are playing with the crystron variant you should try to not summon the tuner to use on your opponent's turn, since Every can easily deal with it. What is good about the crystron’s tuner is that if you go 1st, you can setup the Thunder Dragon Discharge along a crystron tuner combo to destroy one of their backrow on their turn. Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror hurts a lot, not being able to use Dark or Roar’s effect really limits your plays, although it doesn’t stop the banish effect or the discard effect, so you can have your normal Gold Sarcophagus plays, but it will stop Aloof’s effect. Cards that can help this matchup:

Duel Links Card: Debunk
Duel Links Card: Disappear

Invoked

A weird matchup to talk about since there are a lot of different builds, so I’ll try to cover the most popular cards that they run. You should avoid summon monsters in atk position because a lot of them play Concentrating Current which can OTK you. Stall until you have a good offensive play, they play a lot of backrow and some pesky monsters that can be annoying to deal with it. Invoked Cocytus can be a problem to deal with since it has a solid defense and being non-targetable.

Cards that can help in this matchup:

  • Samurai Destroyer, it can prevent your opponent from activating battle traps when you attack their monsters. It also forces them to use Aleister the Invoker to boost Cocytus before you attack or they will lose their monster. Since they can’t attack Samurai with Cocytus while it’s in defense it can force them to switch it to attack position to deal with your Samurai, which would make it easier to deal with Cocytus in your turn. Also, paired with Enemy Controller, can deal with Cocytus, by attacking with Samurai so you will be able to use enemy controller to switch Cocytus to atk position. Samurai also stops other monster effects that activate on flip like Flip Flop Frog, Aleister the Invoker, Nightmare Penguin, etc, and stops all the magician girls.
  • Lava Golem, great to deal with Cocytus and/or Silent Magician.
  • Gaap the Divine Soldier, is a decent counter to Cocytus and all their flip monsters, he doesn’t have amazing stats, so it needs backrow to back him up, like Mirror Wall, Wall of Disruption, etc. This monster also shuts down all Subterror monsters, they will have to rely on their backrow to deal with your monster.
  • Thunder Dragon Discharge and Cosmic Cyclone helps to deal with their backrow, Discharge can be better to destroy their backrow while thinning your deck, Cosmic Cyclone can be better because you can use to banish their Invocation, since they normally play 1, even if they have another in the deck it will at least stop them from returning Aleister back to the hand, it’s worth considering this play, but it might be better to use in a face-down s/t.
  • Hey, Trunade! can be a good option as a finisher, in this case you should run more protection.

Neos

Not much to say about it, that I didn’t cover in the Invoked match-up, it’s mostly an invoked deck that teched a neos engine, with Neos Fusion being semi-limited it reduces the amount of cards you have to play around (Enemy Controller and World Legacy Clash mostly).


Tips Against other Decks and Cards

Necrovalley is being used in some decks with DL popularity (and in Gravekeepers, of course) which can stop a few of our plays, like Special Summoning with Hawk’s effect (from grave, but you can still special a Thunder Dragon that is removed from play), with Hundred Thunders and stopping us from using Roar’s effect to add a card from the GY to the hand (can still add a banished card). Also stops the crystron’s tuners ability to synchro on your opponent's turn. Necrovally hurts quite a lot, things that can help dealing with are: Cosmic Cyclone and Thunder Dragon Discharge. Crystron Quan along with Discharge can Destroy Necrovalley with its effects since it special summons from the hand. Scrap Dragon, Ancient Fairy Dragon are also good options too. Most of these options won’t work If they have Gravekeeper's Supernaturalist, which prevents Necrovalley from being destroyed, in that scenario you should try to go for Samurai Destroyer which can atk and destroy Supernaturalist even with Necrovalley active, since it negates the effects of supernaturalist which will go down to 2500 atk.


Yubel

This deck doesn’t have much monster removal to deal with Yubel on Chain Link 2 or higher, but if you have access to Samurai Destroyer, which is basically a hard counter to Yubel, you just attack and it will negate Yubel’s effect (no matter which form), it will be destroyed by battle and won’t be able to summon another form.


Counter Traps

If you can tell if is a negate trap deck with cards related to The Sanctuary in the Sky or if your opponent negates one of your cards. In this kind of match-up you have to keep in mind that they can negate one of your effects, so you might want to have a backup in case they negate your 1st activation. If you can summon a Samurai Destroyer you can basically beat them down, without activating anything.


Six Samurai

Really annoying match-up, if they have Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En on the field, you will have hard to start your plays and not being able to loop with Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders. Six Style - Dual Wield is the biggest problem since it can stop synchro plays, if you can summon Samurai Destroyer they will have a hard time to deal with it, Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi is their only out, since if they attack you with any of their monsters you can activate your backrow and Shi En won’t be able to negate. Crystrons can summon Crystron Ametrix on their turn which will change special summoned monsters to defense, shutting down Dual Wield.


Ancient Gears

Hard match-up, if they get Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon out you will have most likely only your turn to deal with it, in case you don’t get OTKed. Against AGs you should try to stop them from summoning Reactor. Not many cards to make Geartown miss the timing, besides Thunder Dragon Discharge, not many people know but Discharge can be activated if you normal or special summon a Thunder Dragon, so you can use Thunder Dragons' Hundred Thunders to summon on your opponent's turn, and will ask you if you want to activate Discharge if you have another effect to activate (like Thunder Dragondark in hand) you can use Dark’s effect then chain Discharge as Chain Link 2, this way you will make Geartown to miss the timing. Cards that can help dealing with Geartown and Castle:

Duel Links Card: Thunder%20Dragon%20Discharge
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon

If for some reason they have a Geartown on the field and it’s your turn, you can destroy it in chain Link 2, by using a Thunder Dragon monster as synchro material of Black Rose Dragon, you can activate the effect of that Thunder Dragon (one that you didn’t use one of its effects this turn) which will be chain link 1 and Black Rose will be Chain Link 2, making their Geartown miss the timing.


Future Updates & Final Words

I’ll try to update the guide every time the Meta changes, when new cards come out and after updates on Konami’s banlist. I’ll try to include more tips against other decks/cards that are popular at lower ranks, so it can help everyone. I hope this can guide can help you understand how to play the deck and I hope you have a lot of fun playing it.


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